Journal article

A perspective on novel sources of ultrashort electron and X-ray pulses

Recently, much attention has been devoted to the development of new pulsed sources of radiation for investigating matter with atomic scale temporal and spatial resolution. While much has been achieved thanks to modern ultrafast laser technology, the ultimate coherent light source, the X-ray free electron laser (X-FEL), promises to deliver the highest X-ray photon flux in the shortest pulses at energies unreachable by conventional solid-state lasers. In parallel, other approaches that utilize electrons in table-top setups as a probe have been developed demonstrating the potential for a valid complement to X-ray based techniques. Here, we consider yet another possible avenue in which the technology of electron diffraction and imaging is pushed further; we estimate the interest and performances of a femtosecond high energy electron microscope and propose a hybrid experiment with relativistic electrons as a probe and fs X-ray pulses as a pump taking advantage of both technologies. (C) 2011 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.


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